Public Employee Retirements Stabilizing

6/17/12 – Many public employees are apparently no longer worried that Governor Scott Walker will pull their retirement nest eggs out from under them. Wisconsin did not have the big wave of public sector retirements this spring that it had a year ago – although the numbers are still up slightly from 2010. The Department of Employee Trust Funds said about 45-hundred state-and-local public employees asked for retirement applications from January through April. That’s down from almost 79-hundred applications a year ago, but it was still almost 500 more than in 2010. Older teachers and other public workers expressed fears a year ago that Walker and Republican lawmakers would reduce the pensions they accumulated if they stayed around. State law prohibits it and Walker denied it, but fears still existed after he proposed cutting off virtually all collective bargaining for most public employee unions. The numbers of public workers asking about their estimated benefits has dropped by about half – but it’s still up seven-percent from two years ago. Matt Stohr, who heads the Employee Trust Funds agency, says more Baby Boomers are starting to call it a career – and that trend is expected to continue for the next 10-to-15 years.